Senior Brandon “Pono” Makekau rewarded his coach’s faith with some memorable moments on Friday night.
The Castle quarterback made good on his first start of the season with 21-for-28 passing for 193 yards and two touchdowns (both to Ikaika Urasaki) and no interceptions in about 2 1/2 quarters of work in a key 21-7 win over McKinley.
The 5-foot-10 Makekau led the Knights in passing three times as a junior in 2012, so he wasn’t totally unfamiliar with the role. He had 131 yards in a 35-0 loss at Kahuku — Castle’s next opponent this coming Friday, again on the North Shore.
Whether Makekau, the team’s most mobile signal-caller, showed Castle coach Nelson Maeda enough to earn another shot at that unenviable task remains to be seen.
Junior Stephen Lee still leads the Knights in passing for the season, and he did a respectable job in relief duty against McKinley with 7-for-12 passing for 41 yards and no picks.
The changeup certainly didn’t happen because Makekau struggled — he completed seven of his last eight passes before being lifted on Castle’s third series of the third quarter.
“(Makekau) did some good things out there. We had wanted to get both quarterbacks in there,” Maeda said. “I think the situation was right at that time to put Stephen in. He did a good job too.”
Castle relies on the arm of its quarterback extensively in its four-wide offense — recall team passing record-holder Jaymason Lee of a few years ago. Whether the Knights can build on their big homecoming win over the Tigers will have much to do with whether they get some consistency at QB from either Pono Makekau or Stephen Lee.